Author Emily Lauren Dick shares what inspired her to write the book Body Positive. Read along to learn more about the book’s journey.
Finding Your Power
When I was in university, I had the privilege of learning about the male gaze, which is the idea that women are merely objects of male desire.
For as long as I could remember, I had scrutinized myself through this lens. This caused me to buy into diet culture and develop body image issues. Understanding that there was a root to this negative thinking felt utterly powerful! From this place, I was able to start my journey towards healing those wounds.
I became a more critical media consumer.
After graduating, I continued to educate myself on these issues while working in unrelated fields.
One evening, I watched a movie called Pitch Perfect about a group of “misfit” girls. Each one unique in their appearance and personalities. While it was not a “perfect” example of real bodies being included in the media, it felt good to see some non-stereotypical representations of women in a mainstream flick. I felt the inspiration to start my own project to highlight real women’s bodies and educate young women about body image.
Knowing that the media has a profound effect on our body image, I wanted to create my own media source. A media source full of body positivity. This project’s visual aspect was essential to me. This is why, as I wrote the book, I photographed and interviewed over seventy-five women for it. I wanted to create something within a “female gaze,” where participants did not feel judged and objectified.
It was important for me to include a variety of body types, abilities, and ethnicities in the book.
Not surprisingly, it took many years to find participants willing to be photographed in their underwear for it. There were plenty of thin, blonde, white women willing to participate, but including just one type of representation was not the point of why I started this project. I wanted readers to see more “real”. I am so thankful for the amazing women who stepped out of their comfort zone to show the world that all bodies are beautiful.
I know it is a privilege to have earned an education and developed the tools needed to combat negative body image. Writing this book was my way of making that information accessible to all young women.
I wish that girls were taught these things in grade school, but they are not. By making this information affordable and easy to understand, I truly believe that we can improve the lives of future generations of women and protect them from the harm negative body image can have on our mental and physical health.
It’s about time society recognized that all bodies are good bodies, and that women’s value has nothing to do with their appearance.
I wrote Body Positive because I think that all bodies are beautiful!